Operating Drones Near Airports and Controlled Airspace
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
We are often asked whether the SnifferDRONE can fly near airports since many of our customer's sites are located near them. The answer is most likely yes as can be seen here in this image. This site is located 2.5 miles directly off the runway of an international airport. The airspace at this location is FAA controlled as Class Delta (D) with a 50' ceiling.
One of the unique aspects of our SnifferDRONE™ is its ability to autonomously follow the contours of the ground to a predetermined height. This allows our pilots to confidently fly at a consistent above ground level (AGL) that for our automated surface emissions monitoring application is generally below 30'. As certified FAA Part 107 remote pilots, we are therefore authorized to fly the SnifferDRONE at this location.
Our work with the SnifferDRONE on this site has also allowed us to receive an FAA waiver to fly at 300' AGL for aerial mapping and other imagery purposes, demonstrating that professional organizations with trained Part 107 pilots who demonstrate safe flying and operating practices may be permitted to operate in controlled airspace.
When flying at this location and similar locations, we operate in accordance with FAA requirements to fly safely. These requirements include practicing Crew Resource Management (CRM), monitoring NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) and TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions) with continual visual observation during our flights.
Safety is First!